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Telehealth Frequently Asked Questions

What is telehealth?

Telehealth is a virtual audio and video session in which a physical or occupational therapist (PT/OT) can assess movement, provide education, show and teach exercises, and use other tools that can assist in recovery. Telehealth is a well‐defined and established method of healthcare service delivery. Physical and Occupational therapists may provide telehealth services as part of their scope of practice. Joint Ventures (JVPT) offers telehealth physical and occupational therapy so we can continue, or start, your plan of care, and work toward your goals while in-clinic visits are unavailable or virtual visits are preferred.

How can Physical and Occupational Therapy services be delivered through telehealth?

The majority of the information a PT/OT needs to diagnose and develop a plan of care can be obtained without physically touching you. A thorough subjective assessment where you discuss your general medical history and the history regarding your injury/reason for needing care will comprise a significant portion of the assessment. This will then guide a physical assessment, in which your PT/OT will instruct you to perform certain movements to determine your impairments and functional limitations (ie. what you can and can not do). Your PT/OT may observe such things as your range of motion, components of your strength, your functional movement, all while assessing your pain.

Although certain techniques (e.g. manual therapy, electrical stimulation) cannot be performed through a telehealth session, these are only a few of many tools used by a PT/OT which are often used to supplement exercise. Through video, PTs/OTs can observe how you move, demonstrate movements, provide and coach you through exercises to ensure correct form, and identify barriers to function.

How do I make an appointment?

Once you give us a little information by clicking here, we will be in touch to schedule. Or you can email your current treating PT/OT directly. A list of our practitioners with their email address can be found on our website by clicking here. If you are a new patient, or a returning patient with a new injury or it has been more than 3 months since you had your last session, please fill out our form and we will be in touch to schedule.

What do I need for my appointment?

A Google Chrome browser with a good internet connection, a web camera, and a microphone - most current laptops, tablets and other devices already have this equipment built in. Nothing is downloaded onto your device. Please make sure there are no other streaming services running on your network at the time of your appointment as this can impact the audio/visual quality of your telehealth session.

Please make sure you set up your telehealth appointment somewhere in your home with enough space to allow you to move around. Having a chair and/or place to lie down (e.g. a bed or yoga mat) will be beneficial for the assessment and treatment. If you are able, try to place your device in a secured position a few feet away from you. This ensures the PT/OT is able to get a full view for movement assessment and exercise instruction.

What does a telehealth session look like?

When you make an appointment, you will receive an invitation from your PT/OT with a link to your telehealth appointment, provided through Google Hangouts (which is HIPAA protected and JVPT has a Business Associate Agreement to ensure your session is safe). When you click the link, you will be able to enter your session.If your PT/OT has not yet started the session, you will be able wait for him/her in the session and they will join you at your appointment time to start your session.

At the beginning of your appointment, your PT/OT will ask questions to gain consent for the treatment and recording of the session for documentation purposes.

If you are a new patient, your session will start with a subjective assessment of your past medical history, current condition/symptoms and your specific goals. Please have the health questionnaires competed so that you can review your answers with your PT/OT. You will then be asked to perform certain movements and will be guided through an assessment to determine your current limitations. From there, you will be provided with information regarding your diagnosis/condition, and a plan of care will be developed (i.e. how many sessions you will need, how often). Your PT/OT will demonstrate and perform targeted neuromuscular re-education, therapeutic exercises and/or therapeutic activities that will be incorporated into your home exercise program (HEP), which will be provided to you at the end of the session. Your HEP will include further instructional videos and will be accessible to you via our secure online platform, WebPT.

For follow-up sessions, your PT/OT will review your goals with you, assess your movements and work with you to adjust the interventions and then give appropriate education to continue. If needed, your home exercise program will be updated. At the end of the session, your plan of care will be reviewed to see if any changes need to be made. You will also be able to schedule your next appointment.

JVPT telehealth sessions are scheduled for 30 minutes. Please make sure you have your questions and concerns ready for your PT/OT before you begin.

What should I wear? 

Be sure to wear comfortable, form-fitting clothing so you can move around easily. Please try to have the area of injury easily accessible for viewing. For example, If you are being treated for upper body issues (eg. neck, shoulder, elbow etc), wear a tank top if you are comfortable, or if you are being treated for a lower body injury (hip, knee ankle), it would be best to wear shorts.

What if I have technical difficulties?

Please arrive 5 minutes prior to your appointment in order to test run your equipment to ensure your video and microphone are working. We’re found these tips are helpful:

5 Tech Tips to have a great Telehealth session:

1.Restart your computer before a call. Other software might be using computer power or interfere with your video or microphone. Restarting your computer will assure your computer is ready for video.

2.Use fast internet with an ethernet cable. Video quality adapts to internet speed; so the faster your internet connection, the better the video quality you will experience.

3.Use a newer computer with plenty of speed. Sending and receiving video takes a lot of computer power. Old or slow computers will have a harder time processing the video, which can cause choppiness.

4.Use low resolution. If you experience poor quality, try lowering the resolution. By doing this it requires less bandwidth and computer power, resulting in less choppiness during your call.

5.If you are getting echoes/feedback, try using headphones. Typically, your computer will automatically eliminate echo or audio feedback so you don't hear yourself talking. But if it happens, you and your PT/OT can try headphones.

If you have tried the above and are still unable to access your camera or microphone, we will attempt to walk you through troubleshooting via telephone.

Does Health Insurance cover Telehealth?

Health insurance coverage of Telehealth PT/OT services varies according to your individual plan. Some health insurance plans cover this service without a patient responsibility; some don’t cover it. As a courtesy to our patients, JVPT will do our best to work with you to verify your health insurance coverage prior to your appointment. However, due to the ever-changing landscape of telehealth and the nature of individual health insurance plans, we cannot guarantee coverage. It is ultimately your responsibility to check with your individual health insurance plan to ensure coverage. All patients participating in telehealth will be asked to agree to our financial policy and telehealth consent forms, and will be responsible for payment in the event their insurance does not cover this service.

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